tv Happening Now FOX News October 29, 2012 11:00am-1:00pm EDT
bill: more coverage throughout the day from ohio. later tonight on "special report" with bret. we'll see you then. martha, have a great day. martha: keep a close eye on hurricane sandy and "happening now" coming up right now. >> undoubtedly be some deaths that are caused by the intensity of this storm, by the floods, by the tide dal surge and by the waves. the more responsibly citizens act the fewer people will die. jenna: a dire warning from maryland governor martin o'malley, advising people to prepare for the worst. maryland declaring a state of emergency as the storm is almost 1000 miles wide barrels towards the coast. the threat so serious the virginia task force one, the state's top urban rescue and
search team has just been activated. 80 personnel with k-9 teams will move out as soon as sandy has passed. the storm's impact felt across the country. travelers stranded in cities up and down the east coast. thousands of flights already canceled. rail service through the northeast also suspended. mass transit in big cities like new york and philadelphia and boston is shutting down. thousands in low-lying coastal communities forced to flee sandy's wrath. people sandbagging, preparing for the worst, what could be a massive storm surge and flooding. we've got it covered on "happening now." jenna: we start with this fox news alert. new york state is planning on closing two major tunnels going into manhattan at 2:00 p.m. eastern time today. bridges in and out of the city are staying open for now as an unprecedented
monster storm paralyzes the east coast. hurricane sandy strengthening as it closes in on 50 million americans and more than half a dozen states with destructive winds that could reach the coast to the great lakes. i'm jenna lee. it is not just the storm by the way. it rareliry is, it is the storm surge we're watching today. hundreds of thousands ordered to evacuate low-lying areas including 375,000 people in lower manhattan. they tried to evacuate jon scott but he remains in the thick of it all. really you got a great vantage point there, jon. just how high the water really is. jon: yeah. and the good news, jenna, it has dropped within the last hour. it has dropped a good foot and a half which is good news. high tide came a little after 8:00 this morning. there will be another high tide 8:30 this evening that is what people are frightened about. that storm surge after abormally high tides,
abnormal i say because it is a full moon and that raises tide levels. that storm surge in new york harbor predicted to be six to 11 feet above normal. if it gets to 11 feet i would be under water right now and i'm six feet tall. a little while ago on the pedestrian walkway behind me the water was sloshing up halfway on benches where normally people in october would be taking a in the sunshine and enjoying the view of the statue of liberty behind me. not today. this is a monster home. i guess foreboding is the sense of it here. the police came through and cleared out a group of foreign tourists here smiling and taking pictures and so forth. but this area could be well under water in just a matter of hours and that's what has everyone so worried. some authorities are saying the most catastrophic storm any of us has ever seen in our lifetimes is headed this way. rick leventhal, my colleague, has a bird's-eye view of it.
he is at point pleasant, new jersey. rick? >> reporter: jon, point pleasant beach getting worse by the hour. i just record ad wind gust of 40.2 miles per hour. it is steady in the high 20s, low 30s. the water is getting higher and the conditions are definitely getting worse. we've just gotten a report from atlantic county, that. of atlantic city, new jersey is underwater. the many roads are impasseable because they are underwater. here in point pleasant, water is already covering many of the roads east of the railroad tracks. this entire community is under a mandatory evacuation order. the only people left are a few residents who decided to ride it out and the the media. we do have a higher ground we can retreat to and we may well have to. jon, as you said the storm surge is expected to be eight to 12 feet along the atlantic coast.
every barrier island is under mandatory evacuation orders. the roads in many cases are closed. at the atlantic city expressway is closed. garden city parkway is closed this both directions because there is water on the highway. we already have reports of 8,000 power outages in new jersey but that is just the beginning. as trees get heavier and this income down power lines they expect millions could be without power. conditions on the beach are pretty bad. we're getting sandblasted. but winds will be strengthening throughout the day and by late this afternoon into this evening we could have hurricane-force winds on the beach. that is the latest from point pleasant. back to you. jon: rick leventhal there live, thank you, rick. i want to make mention of one thing. you hear me talk about high tide at 8:30 tonight at battery park. this applies to this location. anybody that knows anything about tides, high tides hit different times all up and
down the coast. you can't necessarily go by what i'm saying. it doesn't necessarily apply to your part of new jersey or connecticut or whatever. high tide here at battery park in lower manhattan around 8:30 this evening and that is expected to be, well, the worst of the flooding but it is all being driven by this huge dome of water that's headed this way especially at a high tide due to a full moon. maria molina is tracking all of these developments including the two huge winter storms that this hurricane is going to collide with. she joins us from the fox extreme weather center. maria? >> good to see you. be safe out there. that's right, we're looking at winter weather associated with sanday bus of a strong cold front to its west. it is producing heavy snow across the state of west virgina and snow has even accumulated into portions of north carolina. we could see blizzard conditions out there throughout the afternoon hours into wednesday morning. so a prolonged period of time that they will be dealing with winter weather.
portions of the great lake do have some storm warnings in effect because some wave heights could reach 25 feet by tuesday morning. sandy a very large storm system, spanning almost a 1,000 miles. we're seeing heavy rain falling across portions of maryland. we've been seeing all day across portions of d.c., baltimore into the state of new jersey down into southeast portions of the state of virginia. the wind is picking up and i want to point out the national hurricane center issued a brand new advisory basically saying sandy intensified some more. maximum sustained winds at 90 miles an hour. the pressure dropped indicating that sandy is continuing to intensify. 943 millibars could potentially be the lowest pressure a hurricane ever had this far north. otherwise the center of it, jon, is 260 miles to the south-southeast of new york city. landfall still forecast for this evening across southern new jersey. jon? jon: i was reading earlier, maria. they're talking about the possibility of hurricane
force wind extending from virginia up to chatham, massachusetts today. this is absolutely monstrous storm. it is going to devastate large swaths of the eastern seaboard and everybody needs to be paying attention. let's go back to jenna in the studio. >> just important context for us, jon we appreciate it very much we appreciate it when the viewers help us tell the big story. farrah sent the photo from lawrence, new york, outside of new york city. roads flooding before 8:00 this morning before rains got going. that is what it look likes there. if you're dealing with the storm and can safely get a photo up load to it to firstname.lastname@example.org. we always appreciate that. this is a big story directly to do with the storm. the coast guard is hard at work. one dramatic rescue continues right now as we speak off the coast of north carolina. it is not a typical ship.
the tall ship called the hms bounty, a replica made famous in the film, "mutiny on the bounty". forcing the crew to abandon ship. joining us on the phone captain anthony propel. commander of the u.s. coast guard. commander, what is the latest with this rescue? >> good morning. woe had 16 crewmembers on board had to leave the vessel as it was sinking. we dispatched helicopters from air station elizabeth city that arrived on scene. they have recovered 14 of those passengers. they're back on deck at air station elizabeth city and appear to be in good health. currently two people are unaccounted for at this time. we've got aircraft on scene conducting a search. jenna: the 14 passengers that you were able to recover at this time, were they on lifeboats? >> they had, they had life-saving suits emerges
suits onboard, life rafts with 18 to 20 foot seas. a couple made in the life rafts and a some we had to pull out of the ocean. jenna: two unaccounted for do you believe that to be in the situation in those suits but in the water? >> that is our understanding as we, we believe that they were washed over deck, overboard as they were trying to get into the life rafts, and washed away. our understanding they do have emerges suits on and like i said, hopefully that will facilitate our finding them sometime soon here. jenna: we'll all hope for the best there. what are the conditions like out there? what are your crews dealing with? >> wave conditions are 18 to 20 foot seas which makes it extremely difficult to find people in the water and even more difficult to hoist. that is incredibly dangerous and challenging evolution. as we're able to get 14 of them. also 40 knot winds being reported. so it is definitely very
challenging search conditions on scene. jenna: certainly sounds like it. the ship, we heard different reports about the ship. has it sunk completely? >> at last report it had sank but not to the ocean floor. just below the surface. the mast was still visible. jenna: we'll certainly keep our thoughts and prayers with your crew and two still out there. i understand we're getting video as soon as we can to show some of the rescue and great work the coast guard does not only like a day like today but every day, captain. thank you for the update. we'll stay with you for the latest information. thank you. >> thank you. jenna: jon? jon: good news they were able to rescue those crewmembers, jenna. severe weather warnings up and down the eastern seaboard. we can't say it enough from the coast all the way to mountains where they're expecting very heavy snow. there are coastal residents being cautioned to take very, every precaution for this dangerous winter storm that's headed this way.
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jon: gail force winds already hamming parts of the east coast. the worst is yet to come. already more than a million customers have been left without power, especially in virginia. a number of power outages there. joining us on the phone from richmond, virginia, the communications director for the virginia department of emergency management. power outages, bob, is that the worst of your problems right now? >> well the power outage numbers are definitely going up. for us, we're still looking at the some of the storm surge. we have 28 shelters opened up across the commonwealth. we're watching the impacts
along the coast but like many others we're preparing for heavy snow that we're getting the tail end out in the mountains in virginia. jon: yeah, i was going to say, you get a one-two punch here. it is not just a coastal event. you have maybe two feet of snow or more that is supposed to dump on your western mount taste. >> kind of a unique storm for us. many almost every part of the commonwealth will be effected. we have high winds coming from the northern virginia area down into central virginia area down into the mountains. we're looking at widespread power outage situation in virginia with the cold temperatures on top bringing that snow as well. jon: and the storm surge along the beach is predicted to be pretty high there in virginia too, isn't it? >> yeah. i don't think we'll get quite as high as places ins northeast. we already had some storm surge. we had high tide this morning and another high tide coming up later this evening. we'll have to see how well we survive through that
surge. jon: yeah. i'm struck by the language that some of the emergency leaders, some of the governors are using here along the eastern seaboard talking about this being a cot traffic storm, potentially the worst any of us has ever seen in our lifetimes. how are resident in virginia heeding the warnings? >> actually, we have a fair amount of experience unfortunately i guess with these types of storms. we had your cain irene last year with over a million customers without power. rachel came through this summer knocked out the same amount without power. we've been through this before. our local officials have been through this before. they're well-trained. they have good plans how to respond to this. we've been communicating and people are taking steps to be prepared. so we feel fairly confident in virginia folks are taking the steps to be ready for whatever the storm might bring. jon: i know you have got the national guard out and ready did. you've got power crews
coming in from other states to help restore power as well, don't you?. >> yeah. we know many of our power companies in virginia are prepositioning out-of-state resources coming in. national guard we deployed them in key areas around the commonwealth to be ready to deploy and help out local officials that might need assistance. we have our state police and out there. department of transportation. they have their crews across the commonwealth. they're already to go to help out as needed. jon: from virginia's department of emergency management. bob, thanks for the information. >> thank you, jon. jenna: well as bob just told us really we're seeing and feeling sandy from way down in virginia all the way up the east coast and flooding is a major issue in several areas. the eye of the storm hasn't even made landfall yet. our live coverage of hurricane sandy continues next. >> citizens do not need to be on the road. you really don't.
jenna: hurricane sandy's outer bands whipping the mid-atlantic region as it moves in on the northeast the monster storm bringing major flooding and gale-force winds in virginia. that is where we head next. jennifer davis from norfolk with more for us now. how is it going, jennifer. >> reporter: hi, jenna. the story is the rain and how much it is. it is unrelenting. it has been coming down heavily since midday yesterday and it has not stopped. there is the surf as well. that is another big component what is happening down here.
you can see it is ferocious and ominous looking churning things up there. we made it through high tide this morning. surf ate up the entire length ever beach which is quite wide in this stretch of virginia beach. it lapped up to the boardwalk but did not cross over it. that is something officials are very relieved about but watchful as the next high tide approaches this evening. i can tell you police, local officials, city officials have been going up and down the boardwalk in the trucks keeping a very close eye on it. the big concern is flooding particularly as you move inland of the there are a lot of low-lying areas as you head towards norfolk. we're aware of some road closures as standing water is getting in the way. last night we talked to one woman who said her basement already flooded. there is lot of water and not a lot of places for it to go. so that is the big concern. jenna: jennifer, we had hurricane irene last word. certainly people have heard some of these warnings before. now we're getting some of the rain. does it seem like folks are
taking this more seriously, taking it differently than past storms? >> reporter: you know the people we run into seem to be taking it seriously and they seem to understand the past storms moved through four to six hours. so far we're headed up to the 24th hour of rain that hasn't stopped. seems to be understanding that is different and can create more problems. i can tell you we definitely seen sightseers out on the beach. i don't know if you can see him but one guy walking around with metal detectors walking around where big surf rolled up. there are a few taking chances but not many. jenna: always that one where it says the beach is not the place to be. stay safe out there as well. i appreciate your great reporting. >> reporter: thank you. jenna: jon? jon: hurricane sandy still churning out there in the atlantic and it shows no signs of getting weaker. in fact it is getting stronger and that's what has authorities here so very concerned, jenna. take a live look at reagan national airport.
in washington, d.c. it is a travel nightmare you all up and down the east coast. flights canceled. airports closed. just one of several hubs in the region that is facing gridlock. passengers strappedded and buses also suspended in many cities. new york city's mass transportation system completely shut down. it is a travel nightmare shaping up in the northeast. we'll take a closer look. >> number of airlines already have decided to cancel their flights tomorrow. others have decided to wait and decide only by the end of this day because they would love to operate it anyway. so we'll see by the end of the day. we're going to try to make a round up and see what is flying, what is not. if we want to improve our schools...
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call now to request your free decision guide. and learn more about the kinds of plans that will be here for you now -- and down the road. i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is. jenna: right now sandy is a category 1 hurricane as it approaches the east coast but the storm is expected to morph into more of a nor'easter with high winds and driving rains as it guesses closer to land. landfall is projected sometime tonight but someone who knows better about all this is meteorologist maria molina. she has the latest on sandy's path. >> jenna, thanks. that's right, we're expecting sandy to become nonhurricane but more of a post-tropical hurricane. pretty much that doesn't mean many changes as far as the forecast goes. we're still expecting it to be a very powerful storm system. because it will become that post-tropical or more of a nor'easter type storm it
will not weaken. it has been strengthening. it has maximum sustained winds of 90 miles an hour. it is making the turning towards new jersey so starting to curve towards the left. we're seeing a lot of heavy rain across portions of the mid-atlantic region. that is where we see some of the highest rainfall couple lakeses with 10:00 since possible. -- 10 inches is possible. sandy is spanning over 800900 miles. we'll see effects as far as the great lakes region. wave heights as high as 25 feet. blizzard warnings in effect across the state of west begin where we could pick up two to three feet of snow. so a lot of impacts from sandy. here is the center of circulation. looks impressive on the our radar image. this is a sign it is intensifying looking impressive on.
pressure is dropping, 943 millibars. that is incredibly impressive for a storm system this far north as far as hurricanes go and the center is 260 miles south-southeast of new york city. landfall forecast for this evening across southern parts of new jersey. that puts new york city on the northern side of the center of circulation. what does that mean? that means onshore flow, possibly the worst case scenario for new york city as far as storm surge goes. that's why we're forecasting a storm surge as high as 11 feet across portions of long island sound and also the new york harbor. basically that means we'll have water piling into long island sound. water piling into the new york harbor and that east river, east of manhattan will have water that has nowhere to go. so we could be seeing some significant flooding out there. that is a huge concern and also a concern across lower manhattan. sandy again a huge storm system. we're expecting a water rise pretty high in areas further away from new york city. four to eight feet further toward the south of the coast atlantic city.
we're seeing that being projection across the coast of connecticut. otherwise heavy rain. six to 10 inches across portions of mid-atlantic. new england will have significant rainfall, one to three inches. not as much as the mid-atlantic. some areas could deal with localized flooding especially higher elevation when you get the runnoff. day time projections as we head throughout the afternoon. we'll see conditions deteriorating. gusts up to 80 miles an hour. beach erosion becoming a huge concern. the worst of the storm, monday night into tuesday morning. that's when we could see wind gusts over 100 miles an hour as the system is making landfall. widespread coastal flooding possible the as we head into tuesday, still feeling impacts from sandy did and that snow continuing to fall. jenna: let me ask you a little bit about the timeline. i don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves here but you said it is an impressive system right now. when does it become unimpressive? when do we see, sandy will
be passing us all the region you mention, all the great lakes gets an all-clear? are we looking three, four, five days? >> yeah we're talking about the weather conditions starting to improve as we head into wednesday, thursday. there will be lingering showers, some clouds. a lot of these impacts will be felt some time. maybe waves are calmer across the great lakes. you have lingering effects of flooding. river flooding will be issue days to come across inland areas that is something we'll track after sandy starts to move away. jenna: busy week ahead. maria, thank you very much. we appreciate it. as we mentioned a large area of the country affected. not everyone, not all watching are affected by hurricane sandy. here is one way you're affected if you have a 401(k) or like to look at the markets. that is something you don't see very often. the dow, no stocks trading at all today. it is the first time in nearly three decades that the stock market is closed. the new york stock exchange is closed due to weather. we haven't seen that in 27 years.
now commodities are trading. oil, things like that, overseas markets are trading. so all business is not stopped but the dow, the nasdaq, they are not trading today. one of the things we will watch by the way an effect of sandy is on the oil price, gas prices. that is something that could have impact for quite some time. jon scott not too far away from the new york stock exchange. is it kind of a ghost town down there, jon? what do the streets look like? jon: it really is. it is eerie to be out on the streets of manhattan on monday morning, jenna, it is just flat-out empty. people have been told to stay home. the arterries that pump the lifeblood through this city, subway, train system, bus system, all shut down. people are just not working today. they have heeded the warnings. to look at weather here right now you feel like it is not such a bad thing but it is coming and it is predicted to be awful. so many plans have been spoiled by the arrival of hurricane sandy including a
birthday party for the lady you see over my shoulder. the statue of liberty about, 126 years old yesterday. the national park service was planning to reopen her crown so the tourists can climb up steps back inside the crown. you haven't been able to do that since i believe, 9/11. they planned to make the big, grand reopening of the statue of liberty crown yesterday on her 126th birth i today. but because of the hurricane the statue is closed yesterday and today. they expect lady liberty will reopen on wednesday. but again, that will be weather dependent and the storm that is coming, well, as many experts are saying could be the worst thing that any of us have seen in our lifetimes. could be a lot of follow-on effects that will last on through the week affecting commerce and wall street and so many other things over a hugely populated section of the country. we'll keep an eye on it. that is the latest from battery park here at the
mouth of new york harbor in lower manhattan. jenna, back to you. jenna: for 126, lady liberty looks pretty good, doesn't she, jon? jon: she does look good, doesn't she? jenna: she is standing through a lot more than just this hurricane. jon, thank you for that. interesting birthday. we can't forget that. we'll move on to some politics now. hurricane sandy is unforeseen variable in final weeks of the presidential campaign forcing candidates to cancel key events in battleground state where president obama and governor romney remain in statistical dead heat. "washington post/abc news poll", showing 49% support governor romney and 48% to the president. so close at this time. sean spicer communications director from the rnc coming to us every monday as he has for last couple weeks. nice to have you back. >> thanks, jenna. jenna: on a day like this public safety is paramount. we want to keep that in mind but we can't forget there is an election taking place in little more than a week.
has the sudden appearance of this storm affected your strategy in any way? >> no, it hasn't affected the strategy but i think our first and foremost goal of the safety of those near or in the path of sandy. governor romney canceled some events in virginia, particularly because he didn't want to be in the way of first-responders and those who may need help after sandy goes through. we have utilized our victory centers in north carolina, virginia, pennsylvania, new hampshire to accept donations for people who might be affected. he is out there in ohio, wisconsin, iowa today. we're keeping an eye on the storm, staying in touch with the governors of the affected states. so, you know, but that is going to be our priority until this storm is over is making sure that people are safe, that we stay out of the way of those who are there to respond to those who may be affected by it. jenna: are you taking down any attack ads in the states you mentioned because there is a storm happening?
there is a level of appropriateness that we're all paying attention to? >> the governor went out, yeah, the governor went out this morning said he wasn't going to be fund-raising or doing activities in states that were affected. we'll let that pass until the storm goes by. additionally he is out there utilizing his platform on facebook and twitter to urge people to donate to the red cross. so we are taking this into consideration in the affected areas. jenna: but you haven't made any moves yet? >> no. i think i, what i just told you. we suspended fund-raising e-mails and such in the affected areas. we're trying to get those people to focus on giving money to places like the red cross that can be of assistance to folks. jenna: as far as the ground game operations at this time, i understand what you just said. of course collecting money and donations and all of that and trying to reach folks but what about the ground operations for your own people that are out there? >> right. that is important to note. so in virginia and north carolina, pennsylvania, new hampshire, the battleground states, they're in the path of the storm,
our number one priority has been to keep everybody safe, not just those who are out there helping governor romney. so we urged them to stay home, do what they can from home but take care of their families, take care of their property. there is plenty of time when this storm gets by to get back to politics. right now we need to focus on the safety of all of our fellow citizens. jenna: sean, great to have you today. look forward to check in with you monday 24 hours before everyone casts ballot. hurricane sandy having impact on those on the east coast. thousands without power in connecticut as this storm some call the super storm barrels toward the mainland. new england preparing for what could be a devastating storm surge as well for this massive hurricane. >> all the weather forecast of the past few days appear to be coming to pass today. we are still expecting all of the bad things we've been talking about to happen and in just about right on schedule.
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jenna: fox news alert now. mayor bloomberg giving an update on the latest here for hurricane sandy. let's take a listen. >> that's correct, but it is going to be. the forecasts are reasonably accurate this close to when we're predicting something and it is going to be very high winds. will be a lot of road closures. you know mass transit is not working and driving when you have big gusts like that is dangerous. overnight city ems crews transkbound 13 homebound he will terry from zone a residences. they transport residents from city homeless shelters in zone a. increasing effort to reach homeless on the street with focus of those in zone a. manhattan veterans' affairs hospital and downtown hospital have been fully evacuated incidentally. some 45,000 of the 375,000 new yorkers live in zone a
are residents of city public housing developments. we continue to make enormous efforts to reach them because they need to leave for their own safety. if you're in one of the 26 affected developments the city is running buses for next hour or so. but that will stop because it becomes too dangerous to run the buses. if you're still in public housing development you should go downstairs. the buses are in the same --. jenna: new york city mayor michael bloomberg speaking about the latest for island of manhattan and other areas, but one of the things he mentioned to us dining in the some of the tunnels are closed. not so much people coming in but people that want to get out as well. we're watching updates streaming live. see more of it at foxnews.com. jon is in unwhich the areas mayor bloomberg just talked about where many evacuations have already taken place, jon. jon: it is kind of a ghost town at the tip of manhattan, jenna, battery park where we're broadcasting right now. rain is picking up.
the wind not so noticeable but as the mayor just said it will get a lot worse here and very quickly. we're expecting conditions to deteriorate. in fact a city work crew came along and laid down sandbags here. that is what it is look in manhattan. let's check in with general masters for the situation farther south. jen? jeff masters, excuse me. >> no, i'm working on the large picture scene. i'm meteorologist who is a hurricane hunter. what exactly do you want to know? jon: well, this storm it's kind of, the perfect storm in terms of, you know, you've got the hurricane colliding with these two other storm systems, right? that is sort of, fascinating from a meteorological perspective but from a government perspective, not the kind of thing you want to see. >> yes. you start as a caribbean
hurricane and dragged a lot of energy from the very warm waters down there and as it crossed into bahamas back to a low pressure system over the u.s. and that helped spread out its wind field over a record large area of ocean. you have a 1500 mile wide area of ocean with 12-foot waves right now. the winds span about a 1,000 mile area and all that energy is going into piling up a record level storm surge which will come ashore tonight in new jersey and new york. jon: that storm surge, just so people can understand, is that water that is driven by the wind, or does it have something to do with the lower air pressure in the hurricane allowing the ocean to rise? is that part of the component toot? >> it is both, yes. mostly the winds. lower pressure help suck it up like a straw would, five or 10%, but the wind are piling up the main amount of
water. jon: when the eye comes to shore, the quadrant people should look at as probably getting the worst of the winds and water, storm surge is noon to 3:00 quadrant because all of that wind surge and all of that storm surge is being pushed up in that direction? >> that's right. where the winds are blowing on land is where the water piles up and in particular we worry about bays that are funnel-shaped like long island sound and new york harbor because there is nowhere for the water to go and it will pile up to heights, probably higher than we have ever seen in the past century. jon: yeah. they're saying long island sound may seen more water than it ever had to contain at least in recorded history? >> yeah. the record was set in 1960 during hurricane donna. and actually this storm has a lower pressure than the great long island express hurricane of 1938 which was the most powerful storm ever to affect new england in the past century. so just remarkable sort of
storm meteor logically and taking exact perfect wrong track for new york city. jon: it bears watching. that's what we're doing out here. jeff masters, meteorologist and hurricane hunter. thanks for the information. >> you're welcome. jenna: jon, new information from the romney campaign. the romney campaign telling fox governor romney is canceling all events tomorrow. also his appearance in wisconsin tonight. we have heard from the president of course as well that he is staying off the campaign trail, say staying at the white house. we're going to hear from the president in about an hour from now with a statement about hurricane sandy. certainly a lot more to get to today. we'll keep a close eye on all the races taking place. the presidential race and how it is facing off now is so crucial. here we are just a little bit over a week away from election day. we'll pay attention to politics. those are updates from the campaign. be right back with more
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jenna: we're taking your pictures of the storm right now. here is just a few incredible images from ureport. lori sent this one from west wildwood, new jersey. two men from the fire department there in the middle of your screen wading through waist deepwater what is neptune avenue. this is reminder. this is before the full storm has hit new jersey. this next photo from bill cross. thank you for your service of course. this is from virginia. his neighbor across the street is trying to sell his home but that home apparently is now partially underwater. and here's a shot from zachary in oceanside, new york. these two swans are not bothered by the flooding. they look pretty comfortable. i'm sure zack is feeling
differently. if you're dealing with the storm in any way and can safely take a note toe -- photo, please do so and send it to email@example.com and we'll give you credit as we always do. the romney campaign is suspending events today and tomorrow in light of the hurricane sandy. governor romney at a campaign rally in ohio, a crucial, crucial key state that could decide the election. certainly has impacted other elections in the past. we'll show you live pictures as we get them out of ohio. bill hemmer, by the way is in that state. he is in cincinnati. bill, what are folks telling you? what are you seeing and hearing in that state? >> hey, jenna. good day to you. a lot of what you're seeing now from the romney team is how to shape how people see him during the middle of this hurricane and this pending storm. and we talk a lot about the optics during a campaign and strategy for those optics. this is part of the consideration that has to go
into how you're relating to voters. do they see you on the stump taking advantage of a moment, or is it wiser to pull back, at least for a day or day and a half. clearly the romney team believes that's the smart strategy. there were events today in ohio, iowa and wisconsin. as you reported, wisconsin is now off the table. and tomorrow there are events planned for at least one place in ohio. that is in lima, ohio, along the western border of indiana. that has been canceled for tomorrow as well. meantime, jenna, early voting con minutes this state. both sides try to put out their word on early voting and try to convince the public that is it is going one way or the other. the obama team has been very intense trying to get the early vote out and, they will make the argument publicly they're doing that and the romney team will try to counteract. there was an interesting note that crossed this morning today in the "wall street journal" it said unaffiliated voters, in places like hamilton county,
cincinnati, ohio, where we have here, are up considerably over 2008. but who is unaffiliated? is that a previously unregistered voter, someone who did not vote before? or is that an independent? that is something that we do not know at this point. southwestern ohio will be a major point for romney in order to win this state he has to do well in this corner of the state. jenna. jenna: quick question for you, bill, because we talk so much about numbers. stats are all important of course. but how does it feel there on the streets? are people excited to vote? does it seem like voter turnout is very high? >> we were at a restaurant yesterday. i talked to 100 people. every single person said they either voted already or they were going to vote. they take their civic responsibility very much to heart here in ohio. i've been here three times in the last two months. northeastern ohio, central ohio, southwestern ohio. one interesting thing to note. when we were in franklin, ohio, columbus, about a month ago all the ads on tv
were about president obama. here in cincinnati now, all the ads on tv we have seen support governor romney. those ads are taken from the debates. debate number one and debate number three, making the case for governor romney here in southwestern ohio. jenna. jenna: very interesting observation. great to have you there. great to have you on the program as well. >> okay. jenna: thank you so much. jon? jon: we are just hours away jenna, from the landfall of hurricane sandy. take a look at this thing from space. the good folks at nasa have provided as you shot of what sandy looks like from outer space and it is swallowing the east coast. it is a historic storm expected to be and not for good reasons, expected to make landfall in central to southern new jersey in the next few hours. we are going to continue to monitor this storm. 50 million people potentially affected and then there is the after effects, the winter storm, two to three feet of snow
jon: hurricane sandy is buried on the eastern seaboard. a massive and powerful storm that threatens 50 million people in this country. she will stretch all the way from the seaboard to the great lakes. welcome to the second hour of "happening now", i am jon scott. jenna: i am generally. seventeen states and our nation's capital on the danger zone today. we are expecting a statement from the president and about 45 minutes from now. we are planning to hear from him. in the meantime, hurricane sandy forcing down the shutdown of mass transit, schools, running with dangerous winds and flash floods. a surging wall of water up to
11 feet deep. we cannot forget about that storm surge. the eye of hurricane sandy is nearly 200 miles from shore at the time. the storm is 800 miles wide. on a collision course with two other weather systems, which could create a super storm like nothing we have ever seen before. janice dean is tracking the storm. you have seen a lot of storms, so why? what is it seem like this is being described as a once-in-a-lifetime storm. >> first of all, the population it is affecting its 60 million people. people say oh, it is only a category one -- what is the big deal? no, this is an impressive storm. it is not just a tropical system, we have a hurricane inside a giant nor'easter. party for the record books. the lowest pressure on record at this latitude. that is impressive. the lower the pressure goes, the stronger the storm that we are
dealing with. it is eight to 900 miles wide. much of the east coast is going to feel this. much a part of the midwest and great lakes as it moves inland. here is the satellite. we have a 90-mile per hour winds in this hurricane. it will add more fuel to the storm. it is like putting gasoline on fire, if you will. that is what we are dealing with. this storm will get stronger when the next several hours before it makes landfall. again, worst case scenario for jersey shore, new york city, long island, and then we will begin to see the snow pile up. the storm surge for this very vulnerable area, new york city is actually one of the most vulnerable cities in the united states were storm surge. wind gusts happening right now, 43, 45 in montauk, 41 in
farmingdale, connecticut, this is moving inland towards new jersey. 40 miles per hour in mount holly. this is going to get eventually worse. that is why people are saying that we need to have major preparations already. you need to be in your state house right now. this storm is just going to get worse. conditions are already starting to deteriorate. there is our track, 11:00 o'clock, i don't want to let your guard down because we are still dealing with storms of 90 miles per hour in wind speed. maybe in excess of 100 miles per hour. the northeast corridor, the megalopolis. millions to be without power for days or weeks. there we are, monday at 3:00 o'clock. the storm is coming on shore. the worst of the weather will be a pm towards midnight for new
york city and long island. heading into monday nights. again, it will continue to move north and eastward. still with us into tuesday, and look at the snow piling up. a foot of snow in the interior sections of the northeastern part of the appellations. showing the wind gusts, see 5 miles per hour plus. that could be conservative. wind gusts could reach 100 miles per hour on this portable shoreline. we will feel the effects of the storm in the midwest, great lakes, down towards the southeast, that is why they are calling this an epic storm system. jenna: tough timing for the children come of rights, j.d.? >> that is correct. i hope everyone stocked up on halloween candy. jenna: then we will all eat it and will not hand out to the trick-or-treaters who do not go out. [laughter] >> i'm sitting in my office.
jenna: we are glad for that. we have to go out to ohio right now. governor romney holding one of his events, one of the last events of the day. he is going from here to iowa, and that he has canceled a few events after that. let's take a listen. >> i want to say how much i appreciate the congressman's work. he is working hard to make sure that we are doing well. chairman reince priebus, and he is here today. i am happy to have him here in avon lake, and also, the former cleveland browns great, gary baxter is here. he is here, and we appreciate his support in the campaign. [cheers] [applause] i can tell you that the support that her campaign is receiving across the nation, and the attention that is being focused on this race is in part because
people recognize how much is at stake. it is a critical time for the country. we face enormous challenges. massive debts, we face an economy that is not putting our people to work in the jobs that they need. young people coming out of college cannot find work -- half of them cannot find work. around the world we face china, which is going to be a major economic power. it already is. it will be an even stronger power down the road. it has been taking a lot of jobs for people here in ohio. we also face radical jihadist. we face enormous challenges. this is a big election. about big things. i am proud of the fact that our team has worked hard to bring real change, they changed the country that badly needs it. [cheers] [applause] we have a president today has a different view about where america is.
his view that we are on the right track -- there's no need for major change. my view is that this is the wrong course for america, this is a turning point for america, and as a result, those people in this country who want real change from day one are going to vote for paul ryan and myself. [cheers] [applause] as i go across the country, i recognize that people do not want 23 million americans to be out of work were looking for a good job. they want people to have good jobs. they do not want an administration with trillion dollar deficits every year. they are not happy with the prospect of half of our kids not being able to get jobs and they come out of college, and they don't like the gridlock in washington. our campaign is about real change from day one.
over the coming days, i will be talking to people across the country about what those changes will look like. let me mention once you today. it relates to taxes. this is kind of a detailed topic. let me just put this into perspective. jenna: governor romney and his speech in ohio today, we just learned from his campaign that he will move on to iowa, but that he is canceling his events tonight and tomorrow -- wisconsin tonight and a kantian thought tomorrow. due to sensitivity of the hurricane, hurricane sandy, that we are watching closely. if you would like to keep an eye on the governor, he says anything about the storm, we will bring that to you. in the meantime, we will get back to some of our hurricane coverage. jon scott is in lower manhattan.
jon: you can still see the statue of liberty at the new york harbor here, but we are getting more rain and wind. when the storm gets here, it's not going to be very pretty. perhaps six to 11-foot storm surge right here in lower manhattan. that is why this zone has been ordered evacuated. evacuated by the mayor of the city. all along the eastern seaboard, 50 million people are being affected by the storm from virginia up to massachusetts and all the way to the great lakes. the mountains of west virginia expected to get two to 3 feet. people in delaware have been ordered to evacuate as well. let's check in with peter. >> jon, some folks did not evacuate last night like a governor, jack markel, order them to print the national guard
along with the police department had to go rescue those people. that is a great example of it is going to show that if you do obey an order from the government, you put the lives of first responders in danger. take a look behind me. the waves are coming in really fast and furious. they are big and tall, and they are very loud. the ocean is basically a row did a ton of the beach. you can see there is a huge hole. this used to be a place where people could walk out to the beach. now, there is a huge hole. the beach is gone here. it is kind of slowing the ocean from going onto the boardwalk, but there are planks back there that are washing up, among other things. a lot of debris starting to come in. we don't know where it's coming from. but it is coming in. the wind has intensified a lot. it is very steady and the gusts really do take your breath away.
the power is still on in our hotel, but we are told that the power company is calling people in from louisiana and alabama just to be staffed for later on today. even though it looks rough, it's going to get a lot rougher. something we have not seen down here are folks coming to check on their businesses that are boarded up. they are letting it ride right now. they know things are going to get worse. if you're wondering what this will look like, here is a little taste. back to you. jon: thank you for the advance warning. the eye of the hurricane expected to make landfall in new jersey later today in to
tonight. it will be a hurricane that hits new jersey since 1903 and then one of a few in the last 200 years. we will continue to watch as the ocean gets angrier at new york harbor. jenna: we will continue to watch that together. he said earlier that we are not seeing the big waves that we expected. but certainly something to watch as the storm surge was closer to shore. hurricane sandy is pushing this massive wall of water towards the shore. the storm surge could reach 11 feet leaving many areas underwater. we don't don't want to see that. keep it here for continuing coverage. we will be right back.
jenna: atlantic city taking no chances. all the casinos are closed for the fourth time ever. evacuation orders are taking place there. it is really something that we don't know what it's going to look like at this point in time. tom corbett is pennsylvania's governor. he joins us from harrisburg, pennsylvania. what really are you preparing for the state of pennsylvania? >> well, you're right. i was a member of the national guard when we had hurricane isaac here. we rely upon the national guard quite a bit. we have activated 1600 members of the guard. harrisburg is being used as a people and a military
reservation. equipment coming in from the federal government is there. it will be disbursed across the commonwealth of pennsylvania. southeastern pennsylvania will be hit as the storm comes ashore. working with tony emergency operations center. some counties have declared states of emergency. we will continue to work with them and try to educate the people to take the storm, as you have said, this is a dangerous storm. this is a hurricane wrapped into a nor'easter and nobody has ever experienced something like that before. we want the people to be prepared. stay home. the highways are dangerous. we will see gusts between 65 and 75 miles per hour. one of the things we have done is limited truck access to the major interstates in southeastern pennsylvania.
only pickup trucks are allowed. people with motor homes, all which includes those with motorcycles on the highway right now. reducing the speed to 45 miles per hour. >> some of the winds ways you are describing as well, governor, a few years back, you have been a lifelong resident of pennsylvania. many people don't think don't think of pennsylvania is where hurricanes hit. have you ever been through something like this before? >> absolutely. back in june of 1972. i live here in central pennsylvania and remember four solid days of it created thousands and millions of dollars of damage.
it affected the area for a long time. last year, as governor, we had hurricane irene. billions of dollars worth of damage to the area. we have learned our lessons from those storms. pennsylvania emergency management agency working with fema. we are prepared. the counties are prepared. we just want people to be prepared. >> hopefully they take the warning. really quickly, as we talk about something that is important for our viewers to hear about, you are personally making sure that everything is nice and prepared. >> who are penny and harry? my wife gave me the to do less yesterday of those coming to the emergency operations center to pick up some dog food for the dogs. we ask the people to take care of their pets and also take care of themselves. have medications ready. have a bag if you're in the
low-lying areas. have a bag ready to go with medications and important documents and make sure that you have diapers and everything in place right now. jenna: you have to think of the pets. they are a member of the family. >> if i know them right now, they are probably out in the yard running in the rain. they like the rain to they like it for now. we will see how they fill a couple of hours. >> thank you. jenna: thank you for joining us. hurricane sandy is inflicting serious damage on the east coast. the storm is moving here in ocean city, maryland. we will go there for a live report coming up next. also, in other news, we have to get some other news in as well. new questions about what the president and the obama administration new about the deadly terrorist attack in grozny. new information on everything.
jon: i am jon scott. awaiting hurricane sandy's arrival in new york harbor at battery park. 50 million people expected to be impacted by the storm. here is a microcosm of it. take a look at these chairs and tables. if this were a nice october afternoon, they would be serving lunch here at the restaurant here in battery park. the proprietor is with us. he has been good enough to share his facilities with us so we can bring you these pictures. but paul, this has to be a huge
disappointment to you. you are losing a lot of money today. >> absolutely. you can't fight mother nature. everyone is losing money. sales tax and others. we just have to cope with it. >> you can't fault the city for ordering the evacuation. tourists would be eating lunch on a day like today. you can't fault the city for ordering the evacuation. >> absolutely not. [talking over each other] jon: you had a nervous look on her face when we got here this morning. >> the city is actually doing a great job. the police department, fire department, i think they should listen to the mayor.
jon: the proprietor here in battery park of this restaurant. paul, thank you very much. we hope you get this place open once again, because they will serve you again. awaiting the arrival of the hurricane. so far so good. the tide has dropped. where i'm standing, we were sloshing around in water when we first got here around 8:00 o'clock this morning. things are looking a little better. in terms of other news coverage, it's another day. new details coming to light about the deadly attack on our consulate in benghazi. we will tell you about a briefing. given the lawmakers after the attack. also, one of the biggest storms ever to hit the u.s. mainland is on its way. the latest update on hurricane sandy, which seems to be gaining strength [ male announcer ] are you considering a new medicare plan?
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unitedhealthcare has been helping people live healthier lives. remember, open enrollment ends friday, december 7th. we can help. call unitedhealthcare to learn about medicare plans that may be right for you. call now. ♪ jon: jon scott coming to you again live from lower manhattan, battery park, sort of the entrance if you will from the new york side to the statue of liberty. lady liberty still visible in the background and rain and winds are picking up here as hurricane sandy approaches. we just got word from the office of mayor michael bloomberg that schools in new york city will remain closed toorm as tomorrow as well. probably good news for the 1.1 million schoolchildren who will get a day out of class. but for the parents who have to figure out what to do with them, that is yet another challenge. also we learned that a
couple of key tunnels that are prone to flooding are going to be closed at 2:00 p.m. eastern time here in new york city. governor andrew cuomo says the water in lower manhattan is already at the levels we saw during the worst of hurricane irene when high tide arrives at 8:30 tonight, coupled with the storm surge, the water could be six to 11 feet above normal here. and that would put this spot where i'm standing well underwater. that's what authorities are afraid of this kind of record-breaking storm surge that could inundate lower manhattan. it could be worse than we have seen here in decades. right now, about 20,000 customers are without power in the new york city area. let's check in with steve harrigan. he is in ocean city, maryland, where we understand some damage has been done to the historic pier there. steve? >> reporter: that's right, jon.
that iconic pier at the edge of the boardwalk here in ocean city, maryland, has been partially destroyed. you can tell what is the doing the destruction. waves behind me are getting bigger hour by hour as we're getting gusts 40 to 50 miles an hour. you can see the water is topping over the seawall and beginning to come in and push things around. benches. knocked down fence. in the courtyard marriott they're billing things out of the ground floor rooms. microwave ovens and bedding trying to move them to higher ground as they anticipate here, especially on the bay sigh of ocean city, some especially serious flooding, jon. jon: in terms of damage to the pier, they're not going to be able to shore it up or anything? they will just have to wait and see what else this storms does, right? >> reporter: they're going to the have to wait on that. they're also really advising people who are now in their homes in maryland, pretty much to stay put there. the strongest words, the
strongest cautions are coming from maryland's governor. >> this is going to be a long haul. the days ahead will be very difficult. there will be people who die and are killed in this storm. we are ordering and urging all marylanders to stay off the roads for the next 36 hours. there are very dangerous conditions out there. we ask you not to put yourselves or your family in jeopardy and not to put our first-responders in jeopardy. >> reporter: help is on the way to maryland from other states including florida where electric power trucks are coming north. that is because the governor also says he expects there to be massive power outages across maryland. jon, back to you. jon: steve hair fan coming to us live from ocean city, maryland. thank you, steve. i'm in sight of the world trade center reconstruction project. the freedom tower over the
trees there. they have stopped all work today. the employees have put pumps in place and so forth. much of that project lies below ground level. if there is severe flooding, they want to be ready. so the world trade center site has been cordoned off and bat 10ed down as really all of lower manhattan. right now new york harbor looks fairly calm but they are expected on arrival of hurricane sandy the sea could come surging in over this seawall. it was already doing so at 8:00 when we first arrived here eastern time. it had already come over the top of the seawall and was well up onto the legs of those benches you might be able to see behind me. at any rate they're saying six to 11 feet of seawater could come pouring into this part of lower man hat and and that is what has authorities here so worried. jenna, back to you. jenna: jon, we'll watch that. quickly back to the campaign trail. we told you both the president and governor
romney making changes to their campaign schedules over the next couple days because of hurricane sandy. governor romney just held an event in ohio. he had a few words about the situation we're watching, we're watching the weather situation affecting the east coast of this country. let's take a listen. >> i don't think there has been a hurricane in ohio in a long time but there has been some hurricanes that caused a lot of damage across the country and hurt a lot of families and families are in harm's way either hurt in their possessions or perhaps something more severe. i would like to ask who are here today think about making a contribution to the red cross or to another relief agency, to be of help if you possibly can in any way you can imagine to help those in harm's way. we -- [cheers and applause] jenna: governor romney on the campaign trail today. we expect to hear from the president in about 10 minutes from now, a scheduled appearance and statement on hurricane sandy. meantime i want to turn to some other headlines we're following very closely in addition to sandy today.
new revelations in the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. fox news learning federal agents gave a briefing to lawmakers focusing on al qaeda's possible connection just 48 hours after that deadly raid happened. chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge is coughing this all for us live from washington. catherine, what do we know today? >> reporter: thank you, jenna. as early as thursday, september 13th fox news was told that the fbi, ntcc nation's threat assessments briefed on capitol hill that the evidence support ad al qaeda or al qaeda affiliated attack. this assessment was based on intercepts that included individuals believed to have participated in the attack who were celebratory and as well as a claim of responsibility. fbi and ntcc also briefed there were series of al qaeda training camps outside of benghazi. the area is described as a hotbed for shar shar as well as al qaeda in northern africa. fox news said there was no mention demonstration or any emphasis on the anti-islam
video prompting the attack. >> there seemed to be inconsistencies in intelligence and some of the information controverted what was being told to congress and us so certain this is exactly what happened. that is what is so concerning about this and why we need to get to the bottom of it. >> reporter: fox news was told some lawmakers felt the briefing the following day by cia director david petraeus was completely in conflict what they heard from the fbi and ntcc. petraeus characterized attack a consistent with flashmob where the militants showed up with rpg's. that they needed skill to fire the mortar to hit the roof of the annex directly. intelligence official disputed description of the director's briefing and that response raised in part that extremists many with ties to ansar al sharia or aqm didn't plan the attack days and weeks in advance but
launched the assault opportunisticly after they learned about violence in cairo. lawmakers who learned more about the attack through raw reports told they were angry, disappointed and frustrated with the cia director's briefing. jenna. jenna: catherine, thank you very much. more on the news as it continues to develop. bret baier, ainge core of "special report". you've been covering the story along with catherine and jennifer griffin from the beginning. how does it fit into the picture of hopefully the better idea, the picture getting brighter what happened in benghazi and the days that followed? >> jenna that picture is getting filled in really by the day and catherine and jennifer, james rosen, others are doing a great job trying to get little pieces of that picture every day and we are getting more and more tips, more and more information information and we are running it down and only putting the facts up there, not the speculation. and we can tell you that this information that catherine has today, when
you put it in the timeline of things, is pretty significant because if you look at the timeline of september 13th and the fbi and the nctc is up on capitol hill telling lawmakers, yes, it is al qaeda or al qaeda linked groups. no, there is no demonstration. and then you put it on the timeline of what the administration is saying at that exact same time with jay carney at the white house podium. then you have what the secretary of state is saying publicly. then you fast forward to all the way to september 25th what the president is saying at the podium of the united nations six times linking it to that anti-islam video, it is very interesting in context. again you have to put it all in perspective on that framework. this story as we talked about many times breaks down into the security and what wasn't there beforehand. what was the response immediately as the event was happening. and then the fallout afterwards. and what was said afterwards
about the event. i think catherine has pinpointed the fallout afterwards about what general petraeus, now cia director petraeus, briefed to lawmakers and there is a lot of angst up on capitol hill about that initial briefing. i think we'll hear that well beyond the election about what cia director petraeus told us in those first hours. jenna: bret, the show's called "happening now", right? we have to cover everything happening now. it feels strange some times to piece news together. we have this horrendous storm barreling toward the east coast. we have this news on benghazi that continues to develop as you mentioned and you have a presidential election in eight days. how do you think all of this is figuring into the election now that we're so close? >> yeah, i think this storm kind of puts things on hold because the media obviously, kind of focuses, like a laser on something that, this big that affects this many people, as en masse the
media will focus on this. i think by the time you get to wednesday hopefully it is not as cataclysmic it made out to be. i have covered 15 of these storms. and what is being made of this storm hopefully it is not as big as it sound but to hear the weather guys talk about kind of the events around it, it does not sound good especially for the metropolitan areas that don't usually deal with this kind of thing, one. two, the politics of it and the fallout i think more people are concerned about the people in the harm's way than the fallout politically but it likely freezes the race where it is now. and three, the benghazi story, frankly fox is the only one really covering this. so keep it here and you'll get the latest. jenna: i talk to some families this weekend grateful for that coverage, bret, even if we're the only ones sometimes. i appreciate you joining us
early as always. bret, thank you very much. you can see him at 6:00 p.m. certainly more news as it develops throughout the day on libya and everything else. all the big tore veris -- stories throughout the day on "special report". meanwhile back to jon, braving the elements. jon: a week from tomorrow we elect our president, jenna, and this race could hang on the critical swing state of ohio. the polls show it is a razor tight race there. both candidates doing what they can to get their voters out, their supporters out. the auto bailout a key issue and auto workers could be a critical voting bloc when they go to the polls in ohio. we will talk about that. also the latest on this monster storm, hurricane sandy, bearing down on the east coast with 90 mile-an-hour winds and a storm surge six to 11 feet above normal. the latest coming up.
a storm that is affecting 50 million americans. it has ripple effects across the country now. we expect to hear any moment from president obama. he is going to be speaking about hurricane sandy and, standing by with us as well is our we've chief white house corresondent, ed henry. we'll be to ed in a second as we're watching the briefing room as we expect to hear from the president. quickly to note, a couple of ways we're seeing national impact from this storm, not just along the east coast where we expect the storm to hit fully later on today. we have the stock market closed. this is the first time we've seen the stock market closed in 27 years due to weather problems. we have more than 7,000 flights already canceled at this time. that has impacts across the country and around the world really today. there's a look at the stock market. you rarely see that in the middle of the day on a monday with stocks just at zero right now. the storm has the potential to really cross about 800 miles, and as you see the
president stepping up to the podium. let's take a listen what he has to say now. >> hello, everybody. i just received a full briefing from our emergency response teams including fema and agencies that are going to be helpful in the response and recovery efforts, the department of income, the department of transportation, the department of health, homeland security and department of health and human services. obviously everybody is aware at this point that this is going to be a big and powerful storm and all across the eastern seaboard i think everybody is taking the appropriate preparations. i've spoken to all the governors in all these states. they have issued emergency declarations. those have been turned around quickly here in the white house. we have prepositioned assets so that fema personnel are working closely with state and local governments. we're making sure that food and water and emergency generation is available for those communities that are going to be hardest hit. we anticipate that the
center of the storm is going to hit landfall sometime this evening but because of the nature of this storm we are certain that this is going to be a slow-moving process through a wide swath of the country, and millions of people are going to be affected. so the most important message that i have for the public right now is please listen to what your state and local officials are saying. when they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate. do not delay. don't pause, don't question, the instructions that are being given because this is a serious storm and it could potentially have fatal consequences if people haven't acted quickly. the good news is is that the governors and local officials i think have had a few days of preparation. there has been extraordinarily close coordination between state,
federal and local governments. so we're confident that the assets are prepositioned for an effective response in the aftermath of the storm. but keep in mind, that, for folks who are not following instructions, if you are not evacuating when you've been asked to evacuate, you're putting first-responders at danger. we'll have to have search-and-rescue teams in and around multiple states all at the same time. although we've got coast guard and department of defense all positioned, if the public's not following instructions, that makes it more dangerous for people and it means that we could have fatalities that could have been avoided. transportation is going to be tied up for a long time and probably the most significant impact for a lot of people is the flooding, is going to be getting power back on. we anticipate there will be a lot of trees down and a lot of water and our, despite the fact that the power companies are working
very closely with their various state officials and local officials to make sure that they are bringing in as many assets as possible and getting those ready in preparation for the storm the fact is a lot of these emergency crews are not going to be able to get into position to start restoring power until some of these winds have died down. and because of the nature of this storm that may make, may take several days. so the public should anticipate that there's going to be a lot of power outages and it may take time for that power to get back on. the same is true with transportation. there will be a lot of backlogs. even after the storm has cleared it will take considerable amount of time for airlines, subways trains and so forth potentially to get back, you know, on schedule depending on the amount of damage that has occurred. let me summarize just by saying that i'm extraordinarily grateful for the cooperation of our state and local officials.
the conversations that i have had with all the governors indicate that at this point there are no unmet needs. i think everybody is taking this very seriously. we've got prepositioned all the resources that we need but right now the key is to make sure that the public is following instructions for. those who still need additional information about how to respond you can go to ready.gov. that is ready.gov. that website should provide you with all the information that your family needs in terms how you can prepare for this storm. our thoughts and prayers go out it all the people who are potentially affected. we are extraordinarily grateful for our first-responders because they're going to be working 24/7 around the clock, nonstop. and, i want to make sure that our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who may end up to be dealing with a very difficult situation over the next several days. last point i will make though.
this is going to be a big storm. it will be a difficult storm. the great thing about america is when we go through tough times like this we all pull together. we look out for our friends. we look out for our neighbors and, you know, we set aside whatever issues we may have otherwise to make sure that we respond appropriately and with swiftness and that's exactly what i anticipate is going to happier who. so i want to thank all the federal teams, state and local teams that are in place. i'm confident that we're ready. i think the public needs to prepare for the fact that will take a long time for us to clean up. the good news is we will clean up and we will get through this. all right? >> what about impact on the election, sir? >> i am not worried at this point about the impact on the election. i'm worried about the impact on families and i'm worried about the impact on our first-responders. i'm worried about the impact on our economy. and on transportation. the election will take care
of itself next week. right now our number one priority is to make sure that we are saving lives. that our search-and-rescue teams are going to be in place. that people will get the food, the water, the shelter they need in case of emergency. and that we respond as quickly as possible to get the economy back on track. all right? thank you, everybody. >> what kind of impact? jenna: the president taking no other questions. one was shouted out about how will this impact the election? that question being asked because it is eight days before the election and president basically saying he has other things to worry about and the election will take care of itself. there will be a lot of back and forth what the storm means about the results and election overall. we'll leave the discussion for a later date. as the president mentioned this is a big and powerful storm. he made sure to let everybody know really they should listen to their local officials, evacuate when needed. he also mentioned the emergency declarations in a
variety of different states that have requested that. he also made clear there are assets in position, food, water, that may be needed depending on just how tough this storm may be. one of the things that the president pointed out that also deserves emphasis, as far as the biggest problem or challenge ahead he sees based on the briefing that he received is power and the effects, potentially of power outages across such a wide area of our country and for so many people, 50 to 60 million people affected. we'll be right back with more "happening now." more continued coverage of hurricane sandy ahead. or annuity over 10 or even 20 years? call imperial structured settlements. the experts at imperial can convert your long-term payout into a lump sum of cash today. till you finish your vegetables. [ clock ticking ] [ male announcer ] there's a better way... v8 v-fusion.
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be the area most hit by hurricane sandy. what are people saying up there? >> well, they are are anything but they are seeing water levels here comparable to what they saw during the worst of hurricane irene about 14 months ago. that is what has everyone concerned. you see where everyone is near the freedom tower, it is still visible, but i can tell from the clouds along the top of the tower that the winds are coming from the north at very high speeds there. at that altitude, we are actually blocked from the worst of them down here where we are. in battery park. this is supposed to be an evacuation zone. you wouldn't know it right now because there are a lot of folks, especially tourists from overseas, they are down here. so far, police are not being too rigorous in enforcing evacuation
zone. but the good news is that the tide is dropping. when we were here earlier, we would've been standing in water up to eight and 10 inches deep. six to 11 feet of storm surge right where i'm standing. and it will be similar up and down the east coast from virginia in the south all the way up to massachusetts. just the sheer size of the storm is what has so many people concerned. jenna: they say a hundred miles could be affected by the storm. the storm surge, you told us earlier, it was a good point of reference. the storm surge, if it was as high as expected, it would be over your head where you're standing right now? >> yes, the tide is 2 feet below the sea wall and behind